A groovy combination of heavy bass line, backbeat strum, and roots-y keyboard additions like Wurlitzer and harmonium, creates a pulsing energy that pushes this warm mix forward. With a soft-spoken vocal suspended halfway between the styles of Ben Gibbard and Paul Simon, Shane Leonard strikes a philosophical tone, leveraging an effortless lyricism that blends a personal narrative with the universal force of informed hindsight.

It’s no fun if we don’t at least pretend we know what we are doing; this self-effacing homage to brutal honesty and tough-love strikes a balance between zen naturalism and urban poetry.

Keep the mileage low, you’ll never go nowhere

Empire Builder, the latest from Wisconsin’s Shane Leonard, is a lucid and bouncy self-examination about the importance of committing to the right path at the right time.

Producer, all-purpose studio musician, and songwriter Shane Leonard grew up playing jazz, dropped out of music school to become an English teacher, and now calls Eau Claire, WI home. Leonard’s forthcoming solo album, Strange Forms, will be released in 2019. This song is featured on our CHILL NEW Songwriters playlist.